Dinara Safina reaches second round

3/24/2011 - Tennis

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Former world No. 1 Dinara Safina
beat Jelena Dokic 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to advance to the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open.

Safina missed three months last year because of a back injury.

"Slowly, I am starting to get some matches behind me," Safina said. "I'm still far from being at my best, but we are working day by day and with each win it helps me to get closer to where I want to be."

Bethanie Mattek-Sands celebrated her 26th birthday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Sofia Arvidsson to advance to the second round.

Mattek-Sands will face top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday.

Mattek-Sands lost the one time she played Wozniacki, in the 2009 Italian Open.

"It's a good challenge for me and I like challenges," Mattek-Sands said. "You just got to go into the match knowing you're not going to get free points. For me, I'll stick to my same game plan. I'm going to play aggressive."

In other first-round play, Kimiko Date Krumm, at 40 the oldest player in the women's singles draw, beat Zuzana Ondraskova 6-4, 6-3.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.